keeps this site and its author alive.
Stories from the Verse
Versers Versus Versers
Chapter 74: Kondor 166
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Chapter 73: Takano 11
It was not going well.
Although Shella was constantly doing something, Kondor had no idea what. Lauren had been fighting the two most dangerous opponents, the alien and the fire beast. Slade was dueling a young girl who seemed incredibly to be able to hold him at bay and even land several blows against him (a feat which he knew from experience was challenging). He had been trying to shoot from his secluded vantage, using his mind blank as well as he could to prevent them from knowing his targets, but the man with the shotgun had found cover and the alien seemed to be able to raise a bullet-proof shield around itself and the two adult humans whenever he took a shot.
Lauren was now a ball of fire, somehow trying to feed the fire creature’s fire back into itself somewhere above the battlefield. Slade had suddenly stopped fighting, and it appeared that the pint-sized fury had put her blade into him. It was going to end, and end badly.
Suddenly he saw Zeke, running down the hill, rifle pointed forward, straight for the alien. Good plan, Kondor thought. If we can take out the alien we might stand a chance here. He tried to provide cover fire, shooting here and there.
Abruptly Zeke stopped, turned sharply, and put three shots in tight pattern at close range into the white-haired man. There was a look of shock over the man’s face, a scream from the redhead, and as the man collapsed to his knees and slowly fell on his face, he suddenly vanished.
And so did the redhead.
And the alien.
And the girl.
And, it seemed, the man with the shotgun.
Lauren was gone, along with the fire creature she had engaged.
Slade was gone, and so was Shella.
He emerged from his nest, looked around to be sure, but it was just the two of them. He plodded down the slope to join Zeke below.
“How’d you know?” he said.
“Well, I didn’t rightly know, I guess, but there were a lot of clues, and I figured it was worth a chance, particularly as we were running short on chances. But I’ll tell you what I saw, and what I heard, and what I thought.”
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with ten other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #343: Worlds Explode. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: